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Monday, May 21, 2012

Fort Worth is a Really Interesting Place: Freeway Assassin Shoots into Car, Killing 2, Wounding 2, Missing 1; None of 3 Survivors Knows Anything; Gang

Unit Says ‘Not Gang-Related’; Star-Telegram Reporter and Editor are Helpful, but Bosses Block Readers from Discussing Story
By Nicholas Stix

When I was a wee lad, I strove to lead an interesting life. And so, I did. So interesting, in fact, that when I turned 20, my big sister (she towers over me) said, “No one expected you to live to see 16.”

At least since I became a family man, I have striven to lead as uninteresting a life as possible. And I like it that way!

Now, Fort Worth, there’s an interesting town of 741,206, according to the 2010 Census, full of interesting people. They like things interesting.

Fort Worth has the sort of demographics that guarantee an interesting city: 34.1 percent Hispanic, 18.9 percent black, and 41.7 percent white. That’s a recipe for endless, insoluble chaos and heartbreak. There's never a dull moment.

I’d never read anything by this Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter, Domingo Ramirez Jr., but the guy shows promise, and he got help from the headline editor. Ramirez cites the cops’ claim that the shooting wasn’t gang-related, but gives that the lie, by showing that the Gang Unit was involved in t eh investigation. And his editor removed all doubt, with the headline, “2 killed, 2 wounded in drive-by shooting in Fort Worth.” “Drive-by” isn’t even a code phrase anymore; at this point it, is so well-known as a gang tactic, that the term functions as shorthand.

They said they didn't believe it was gang-related; but at least one officer at the scene was wearing a vest with the word "Gang" unit on the back.


It says below, “Post a comment on this storySend us a news tipExpress your opinion in a letter to the editor,” but that’s “invisible ink” that doesn’t show up on Web page, but appears when you copy and paste the story. It hasn’t been linked and activated, because the bosses at the Star-Telegram will not tolerate any readers publicly discussing this story, and are not interested in reading readers’ letters about it.

There is, however, a link on the page for news tips, suggesting that the editors may be censorious, but at least know which side their bread is buttered on. And when you hit the link, it magically opens up—“Open Sesame!”—the invisible invitations, which are now actively linked. But if you hit the link to comment on the story, you find it’s a mirage, for you hit a dead-end, a map of the crime scene, on a page that doesn’t even let you backspace to the article. It’s just another example of the virtual labyrinth that corporations that wish to keep the public at arm’s length have created online.

If, however, you persevere, find the story’s URL, go back through the procedure, and hit one of the other links, to provide a tip, or wrote a letter to the editor, you’ll find that they work.

The tip link opens up an email, addressed to “online@star-telegram.com,” and with the subject line, “Information about story.”

The letters link
http://www.star-telegram.com/242/index.html#st_tabs_2_Submitaletter
opens up to a page with the paper’s letter guidelines (limited to 200 words, once a month), and addresses:

Submit via e-mail: letters@star-telegram.com
Mail: Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101
Fax: 817-390-7688

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/242/index.html#st_tabs_2_Submitaletter#storylink=cpy
mailto:letters@star-telegram.com?subject=Letters

But tell me, how many readers are going to jump through so many hoops, in order to comment on a story, especially knowing the notoriously leftwing politics of MSM letters page editors?

For more examples of newspaper editors forbidding reader comments on stories, see: here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

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2 killed, 2 wounded in drive-by shooting in Fort Worth
Post a comment on this storySend us a news tipExpress your opinion in a letter to the editorBy Domingo Ramirez Jr.
ramirez@star-telegram.com
Sunday, May. 20, 2012; updated Monday, May. 21, 2012
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH -- A gunman in a vehicle opened fire on a car with five people inside Sunday night on the South Freeway in Fort Worth, killing two people and injuring two others, police said.

Police estimated that at least 11 rounds were fired into the vehicle on Interstate 35W near Sycamore School Road.

Fabian Guerrero, 21, of Fort Worth, the driver of a white Toyota, and Diane Guerra, 22, of River Oaks, a front-seat passenger, were pronounced dead at the scene about 9:30 p. m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's website.

Two other passengers who were in the backseat were wounded and taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The two men suffered gunshot wounds to their lower body, police said; their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

A fifth person was uninjured. He was questioned at the scene for almost three hours Sunday night before being driven away in a police car.

"They all had been at a car show in Dallas during the day," Adrianna Guerrero, Guerrero's sister, said Sunday night as she and other family members gathered near the shooting site. "They came back to Fort Worth, but I don't know where they were going when this happened."

Authorities had not said what prompted the shooting. They said they didn't believe it was gang-related; but at least one officer at the scene was wearing a vest with the word "Gang" unit on the back.

"The uninjured man isn't giving us much information," said police Capt. Kevin Rodricks Sunday night. "He wasn't sure what type of vehicle drove up beside them."

The shooting was reported shortly before 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Police said the five victims had been at a Hooters restaurant near Hulen Street, left the business and drove onto Interstate 20 then turned south onto Interstate 35W.
"They were exiting on Sycarmore School Road when another vehicle pulled up alongside of them and fired," Rodricks said.

The Toyota veered onto a service road, then went up an embankment where it hit a concrete barrier, rolled down the embankment and came to rest in the 7700 block of the South Freeway service road, authorities said.

Within minutes, dozens of family members and friends of the victims rushed to the scene, waiting on word from officers about the shooting, some sobbing.

For several hours, the body of one victim lay on the ground near the driver’s side.
Authorities closed down the service road at Sycamore School Road for more than three hours as officers searched for shell casings in the shooting.

Staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763; Twitter: @stcrime

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC for this article.]

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